WASHINGTON — Value-added fruits and vegetables and organics showed substantial growth last quarter, despite price increases and continued hard times in many parts of the country, a United Fresh report shows.
In dollar and volume sales, they even outdid some of the top 10 commodity whole fruits and vegetables, according to “FreshFacts on Retail,” a quarterly report United Fresh Produce Association publishes in conjunction with Del Monte Fresh Produce and The Perishables Group.
The report shows value-added fruit racked up double-digit volume increases and value-added vegetables showed gains. Value-added fruits increased overall dollar and volume sales by 8.4% and 11.6%, respectively. Organics, too, showed strong growth in the 2010's fourth quarter, compared with a year earlier.
“We see consumers returning to these categories and being a little more liberal with their spending,” Steve Lutz, executive vice president, Perishables Group, Chicago, told SN last week. “Those are the categories that suffered most during the recession as consumers traded down. Everybody gets conservative with their dollars when the economy is down.” Lutz said that he's impressed by organic's rebound and potential growth.
Organic vegetables show an 11.8% increase in dollar sales and a 9% increase in volume sales over a year earlier, the report shows. And organic fruit is up 18.7% in dollar sales and 10.7% in volume sales.